Update on Re-opening Church Buildings

In the light of the First Minister’s statement allowing Churches to resume services on 15th July 2020, I thought I should write to you to explain our position here in Urquhart & Glenmoriston Parish Church. Let me start by saying that we all agree that we want to be back together in Church as soon as possible.

That being said, I need to let you know that we will NOT be resuming services in our building on 15th July.

The Kirk Session and Congregational Board have both looked at this issue in some detail and we have set in motion the first steps which we will need to take before we look at a start date.

We are currently filling out a comprehensive Risk Assessment Form which we will need to give to Inverness Presbytery in the near future and we need to put together a team of willing volunteers to guide worshippers in and out of church and into appropriate socially distanced seating, and also people to clean and disinfect the church building after use.

When all this is in place, the Kirk Session will then have to decide when the time is right to return to public worship, taking into account how we might be able to offer a safe experience of Sunday worship, but also a worthy experience of worship, given that as the guidelines stand we need to keep 2 metres apart from each other – there would be no singing – there would be no coffee/tea time for social fellowship before/after the service. For the relatively small number of people whom we could legally accommodate (possibly as few as 11 people downstairs and 9 people upstairs), we would have to ask what kind of worship it would be under such restrictions.

We, the office-bearers of the Church, are well aware that many people are very keen to get back to Church on a Sunday, and we are also keen for that. Please bear with us as we look at all these important details and pray that we might get it right in terms of when and how to return to the Church buildings.

We thank you for your patience and ongoing prayers for us.

Your minister,

Hugh Watt

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